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Water Quality and Quantity Issues, News and Updates
Water, water everywhere --- and not a drop to drink...”
(from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Water – Quality & Quantity – A Very Hot Topic
Updated January 2011
“Demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 percent by 2030, and an estimated half the world’s population are likely to live in areas of high water stress by the same year” -- so states Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project in the CDP Water Disclosure 2010 Global Report. The situation is getting worse rather than getting better. The pressures of over-population, climate change and increased use per capita are all causing water stresses, although unevenly, throughout the globe.
Current impacted areas in the news include the Southwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States; China; India; Ireland; the Middle East region; Australia; and many countries in Africa. The threat has been recognized and throughout the globe and governments, corporations and activists groups are bringing the problem to the forefront and helping to craft and influence both short and long term solutions.
Since this section was first created in 1998, the editors have screened tens of thousands of articles and posted almost 1,000 stories, commentaries and reports. Water – quality and quantity is continuing to be a Hot Topic for AC readers. As many pundits are saying…water is becoming the new carbon.
In 2006 the United Nations World Water Development Report described the state of water on our planet as a “crisis of governance.” While the world appears to have enough fresh water supply today, the issue is one of governance, as in water distribution, management and quality control practices. Water quality appears to be degrading in many areas, our monitoring tells us, and water quantity (supply) is a huge issue in many of the world’s regions.
Due to a number of factors -- mismanagement, limited area resources, and environmental changes, some caused by climate change -- almost one-fifth of the planet’s population still lacks access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent of the world’s population lacks access to basic sanitation. Access to water is further restricted by national and governmental entities that regulate where the water flows, who has access and for what purpose the water is used.
Water is also used as an economic, health and environmental weapon by the “haves” over the “have-nots.” Governments “determine who gets what water, when and how, and decide who has the right to water and related services,” said the report authors. Water availability is also related to a range of issues intimately connected to water, from health and food security to economic development, land use, and the preservation of the natural ecosystems on which the water resources depend.
Water quality is declining in most regions of the Earth. Regional over- population, increased industrialization, absence of proper waste water treatment -- are all contributing to the emerging crisis. Poor water quality is a key cause of poor livelihood and health. An estimated 1.6 million lives (directly or indirectly connected to water quality issues and their related diseases) could be saved each year by providing more access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to the world’s poorest regions.
Access to water is not only a Third World or emerging nations’ issue -- droughts in the U.S. Southeast and quantity issues in the Southwest and in California have brought conservation, control and distribution issues to the public’s attention in the past few years. Water in the United States is a key factor to residential and commercial development, economic stability and job growth – all issues which effect local and regional communities’ economic well-being. Water in the USA is critical to the health of agriculture and related industries. Corporations are in the spotlight for their use of water – advocates and third party researchers are developing “water footprints” (similar to “carbon footprints”) for leading companies, such as Coca Cola, Nestle and other water-intensive industries and sectors.
The Editors of Accountability Central work to bring the many facets of Water issues -- especially quality and quantity -- into focus with news, commentary and research. Education on the issues, public discussion and rising concern can help to bring about real and positive changes and sensible and fair solutions to the problems at hand. Perhaps this public forum can help in some small way. The Institute maintains a robust focus on water issues and the key players in its subscription Web-accessed knowledge management platform Sustainability HQ – click here for more information:www.sustainabilityhq.com.
Latest on Water - Quality & Quantity
December 30, 2015 Storm Brings Chaos to U.K. as North Braces for More FloodingSource: Bloomberg
Another storm battered the north and west of the U.K., causing chaos to transportation and leaving thousands of people without electricity or facing more flooding in what’s been the wettest December on record for parts of the...
December 30, 2015 Northern part of Great Salt Lake hits historic low levelSource: Washington Post
SALT LAKE CITY — Drought has caused water levels in the northern portion of Utah’s Great Salt Lake to drop to a historic low for the second year in a row, according to state and federal officials.
December 29, 2015 Water reform is 'needed in Asia'
BBC Online - The report will be presented on Tuesday to the World Water Week conference in Stockholm. The study was carried out by the International Water Management Institute and the United Nations Food and Agriculture...
December 21, 2015 New study reveals climate change is warming world's lakesSource: GMA News
A new study by NASA and the National Science Foundation reveals that climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world. The findings were published on Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters and announced at the American...
December 20, 2015 Water Levels in Lake Mead Reach Record LowsSource: ABC News
The water levels in Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that serves about 20 million residents in Nevada, Arizona and California, is at an all-time low, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Source: Fox News
The polluted water coming out of the taps in Flint, Michigan may be worse for children than previously thought, according to the doctor who discovered that the children were at risk of brain damage from the city’s water supply.
December 18, 2015 UK to allow shale gas fracking beneath national parksSource: Reuters
MPs on Wednesday voted in favour of the use of fracking to extract shale gas under national parks, weakening a decision against fracking in national parks made earlier this year and giving shale gas explorers access to more...
December 17, 2015 IDE plans more U.S. desalination plants after California successSource: Reuters
Israel’s IDE Technologies, which opened this week a billion-dollar desalination plant in California, is helping to plan 10 new facilities throughout the United States, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
Source: NBC News
In trying to solve one water crisis, the city of Flint, Michigan, has inadvertently created a new, even bigger one — and it's coming at the cost of children's health.
São Paulo, the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, is facing its greatest water crisis in almost a century. Authorities announced that the water shortage had became critical at the height of Brazil’s dry season in August,...
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